Hotel Milo ***
Hotel Milo is a budget three-star hotel just around the corner from Stazione Termini, Rome’s main train and bus station. A cheap base for a short stay, the Milo offers no-frills accommodation in surprisingly decent bedrooms.
I stayed at Hotel Milo in May 2006, booking a single room for one night at 70. I booked online, only one day in advance, when rooms in Rome were hard to come by. A three-star at this price seemed a good deal and I knew the location would be handy, though not appealing.
I arrive at the Milo in the morning – too early for my room to be ready, I fear. But after a quick telephone check from the friendly receptionist, I only have to wait a few minutes before a beaming middle-aged chambermaid shows me into my bedroom.
The setting is not an attractive one, and the exterior is unprepossessing. Those who know Rome will be familiar with the many budget hotels and B&Bs crammed into the tall buildings on the scuzzy streets around the station. Via Principe Amadeo is a fairly noisy street busy with poor immigrants, loiterers and waiters looking for tourists to entice into their restaurants. The street is busy enough not to feel dangerous, but the attention isn’t always pleasant and there’s no picturesque Roman atmosphere (see our feature on where to stay in Rome for more advice on the city’s areas). For an overnight stay, this is a practical location but the sight of the hotel’s name board, jostling for space with the other establishments sharing the same entrance, doesn’t inspire me with great confidence.
Inside I’m very pleasantly surprised. There is certainly a typical budget ‘Termini’ feel to the hotel: apart from the location, public space is minimal while the en-suite bathroom features those budget soap and loo-roll dispensers. (The soap one is empty but since I keep forgetting to inform the receptionist I can’t make this into a serious complaint).
I am impressed firstly by the helpful and friendly service I receive on my early arrival. Maps and tourist information in the reception area are also a good feature. But I’m most surprised by the niceness of my room. My first thought is that this is one of the most spacious single rooms I’ve ever been in. It is also furnished well and with some thought: mirrors, hooks, suitcase stand, a wardrobe with lots of hangers, safe, fridge, desk and chair. There is also a good private bathroom, although I’m a little concerned that the admittedly small window has only a net curtain to preserve my privacy.
My room looks over a an inner courtyard, and is on the fifth floor. The hotel’s reception is on the first floor, so on returning to the hotel it’s necessary to stop off for the key before taking a small lift up to the fifth floor, where there is a buzzer to ring for admittance to the hotel rooms. My room, unluckily, is by the door to the stairwell and is incredibly noisy in the morning from 7am. (Not to mention the noisy couple who were leaving in the middle of the night). Large groups of German tourists are being assembled at dawn in the stairwell and then in the courtyard, shouting and milling around with no thought for later risers. The noise echoing up leaves no chance for sleep.
Apart from the noise, my brief stay is a comfortable one. There is no visible air-conditioning, which would be a problem in the height of summer. The public areas are small and uninspiring. Breakfast is taken in a quiet bar a few minute’s walk down and over the road. It’s a basic meal: a pot of tea, toast, croissant and so-called orange juice.
The Milo isn’t the place to stay if you want romance and atmosphere, nor if you want to spend much time in your hotel. But for a cheap and clean overnight stay, or as a base for using public transport, it is a good, convenient choice.
Hotel address: Via Principe Amedeo 76. The hotel is very close to Stazione Termini. Via Principe Amadeo is to the west of the station, on the Via Giolitti side, and just a couple of streets away.
Hotel Milo review by an Italy Heaven editor.